Back to top

YSR/11-18 - Youth Self-Report 11-18

The Youth Self-Report (YSR) is a widely used child-report measure that assesses problem behaviors along two “broadband scales”: Internalizing and Externalizing. It also scores eight empirically based syndromes and DSM-oriented scales, and provides a summary of Total Problems. The measure assesses "Total Competency,” which is a scale comprised of competency in activities, social functioning, and school performance. It is a parallel form to the caretaker-completed Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and teacher-completed Teacher Report Form (TRF). Cross-informant reports are available.




Achenbach, Thomas, M.

Achenbach, T.M., & Rescorla, L.A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms & Profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.

Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Relationships and Attachment
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
General Assessment
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
6 months. Intervals can be shortened. See manual for instructions
Response Format: 

1. Open-ended questions
2. 3-point Likert-type scale 0=Not true, 1= Somewhat or Sometimes true, 2=Very true or Often true

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Overall FunctioningActivitiesPlease list hobbies, activities, and games, other than
SocialPlease list any organizations, clubs, teams, or groups you belong to.
Mood and AnxietyAnxious/DepressedI am nervous or tense.
Withdrawn/DepressedI would rather be alone than with others.
Somatic ComplaintsRashes or other skin problems.
symptomotologySocial ProblemsI am too dependent on others.
Thought ProblemsI hear sounds or voices that other people think aren’t there.
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Clinician Friendly Output
Continuous Assessment
Diagnostic Info DSM IV
Graphs (e.g. of elevated scale)
Raw Scores
Standard Scores
Written Feedback From a Computer Program


Training to Interpret: 

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

Youth Self-Report (YSR), Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and Teacher Report Form (TRF) are similar questionnaires used.


Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

The normative sample for the 2001 YSR revision consisted of 1,057 youth with the following characteristics: 52% boys and 48% girls, 32% upper-class,
53% middle-lass, 16% lower-class, 60% non-Latino White, 20% African American, 8% Latino, 11% mixed or other; 17% Northeast, 19% Midwest,
41% South, and 23% West.

Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

T-Score Cutoffs: 65-69 (Borderline), 70+ (Clinical); No T-score >100 or <50 are generated for narrow band scales. T-cores as low as 26 are generated for Total Problems and as low as 10 for Total Competence.

Test-RetestAcceptablePearson's r0.670.910.79
Internal ConsistencyAcceptableCronbach's Alpha0.710.950.83
Inter-raterAcceptableCorrelation between YSR &CBCL0.370.60.49
References for Reliability: 

TEST-RETEST There is a correlation of 1.0 for 20 competence problems, and a .95 correlation for the 112 specific problem items, and .67-.83 for the DSM-oriented scales. INTERNAL CONSISTENCY Very good; the only alpha < .75 were on the Withdrawn/Depressed and Social Problems syndromes. INTERRATER Mean cross-informant correlation: Correlations between the YSR and the Teacher Report (TRF) averaged 0.34, ranging from .05-.54. Correlations for Self-Report (YSR) and Caregiver Report (CBCL) averaged .49, ranging from.37-.60. The correlation between Self and Caregiver ratings fall in the acceptable range, given correlations that are generally found in the literature.

References for Content Validity: 

Preparation for the measure included extensive literature searches, consultation with mental health professionals, and pilot testing. Content validity for this measure has been strongly supported by research, consultation, feedback, and evidence that all items are significantly discriminant between demographically similar referred and non-referred youth.

Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to ChangeYesyesYes
Intervention EffectsYes
Longitudinal/Maturation EffectsYesYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYes
Factorial ValidityYesYes
References for Construct Validity: 

1. Achenbach, T. M., Howell, C., McConaughy, S. H., & Stanger, C. (1995). Six year predictors of problems in a national sample of children and youth: I. Crossinformant syndromes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 336-347.

2. Achenbach, T. M., Howell, C. T., McConaughy, S. H., & Stanger, C. (1995). Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample: III. Transitions to young adult syndromes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 658-669.

Criterion Validity: 
Not KnownNot FoundNonclinical SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Predictive Validity:YesYesYes
Postdictive Validity: YesYes
References for Criterion Validity: 

80% correctly classified, 14% false positive, Notes: 7% false negative.

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

1. The psychometric information is from the manual. (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001).

2. Psychometrics for this measure are very good.


Translation Quality: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Spanish YesYes
2. FrenchYes
3. TagalogYes
4. VietnameseYes
5. ChineseYes
6. American Sign LanguageYes
7. FarsiYes
8. PolishYes
9. RussianYes
10. UrduYes

Population Information

For Specific Population: 
Complex Trauma
Populations with which Measure Has Demonstrated Reliability and Validity: 
Physical Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Medical Trauma
Domestic Violence
Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population Type: Measure Used with Members of this GroupMembers of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed JournalsReliableGood PsychometricsNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Developmental disabilityYesYes
2. DisabilitiesYesYes
3. Lower socio-economic statusYesYesYesYesYes
4. Rural populationsYesYesYesYesYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. Provides DSM-IV diagnostic information.

2. Ability to obtain cross informant information from caretakers and teachers if administered in conjunction with the Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form.

3. Separate norms for boys and girls.

4. Inexpensive to purchase.

5. Clinician-friendly feedback, especially with the information from graphs and narrative provided by the computer software.

6. A computer utility called “A2S” is available from ASEBA to easily export data to SPSS.


1. Can be time-consuming due to the large number of questions.

2. Potential for self-report bias due to face validity.

3. No validity scales are included with the profiles.


To obtain a full list of references, please contact ASEBA or refer to Bérubé, R.L., & Achenbach, T.M. (2001). Numbers provided are based on the manual and the author.

Below is a sampling of the articles:
1. Achenbach, T.M., Dumenci, L., & Rescorla, L.A. (2001). Ratings of relations between DSM-IV diagnostic categories and items of the CBCL/6-18, TRF, and YSR. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.

2. Bérubé, R.L., & Achenbach, T.M. (2001). Bibliography of published studies using ASEBA instruments: 2001 Edition. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.

3. Crijnen, A.A., Achenbach, T.M., & Verhulst, F.C. (1997). Comparisons of problems reported by parents of children in 12 cultures: total problems, externalizing, and internalizing. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

4. Ferndinand, R.F., Verhulst, F.C., & Wiznitzer, M. (1995). Continuity and change of selfreported problem behaviors from adolescence into young adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 680-690.

5. Hudziak, J.J. (1998). DSM-IV Checklist for Childhood Disorders. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, and Families.

Developer of Review: 
Jennifer DeFeo, M.A.
Editor of Review: 
Nicole Taylor, Ph.D., Robyn Igelman, M.A., Madhur Kulkarni, M.S., Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.